The Wisconsin Badgers (26-3, 14-2 Big Ten) fell to No. 6 in the newest Associated Press Top 25 and also dropped a spot to No. 5 in the USA Today Coaches Poll released Monday. Villanova (27-2, 14-2 Big East) jumped Wisconsin in both polls and Arizona (26-3, 14-2 Pac-12) slotted in above UW in the AP Poll while Duke (26-3, 13-3 ACC) leapt ahead of the Badgers in the Coaches Poll. There was finally some shakeup at the top of the polls, but it unfortunately took a Badger loss for it to happen.
Wisconsin started its toughest stretch of the season with a brutal loss at Maryland that ended its 10-game winning streak but bounced back on Senior Day against Michigan State with as dominating a seven-point victory that has happened this season. Oh yeah, that win also happened to clinch a share of the Big Ten regular-season title for the Badgers. No big deal, though.
There are two other teams from the Big Ten joining Wisconsin in the polls this week. Maryland (24-5, 12-4 Big Ten) jumps into the top 10 (No. 10 in AP, No. 9 in Coaches) on the strength of its victory against the Badgers and Ohio State (21-8, 10-6 Big Ten) rejoins the polls at No. 23 in the AP and No. 25 in the Coaches after pummeling Nebraska (13-15, 5-11 Big Ten) and eeking by Purdue (19-10, 11-5 Big Ten). The Boilermakers and Michigan State (19-10, 10-6 Big Ten) are receiving votes from the coaches this week.
Wisconsin finishes up its regular season this week on the road against Minnesota and Ohio State. The Bagders battle the Gophers on Thursday at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN and travel to Columbus to meet the Buckeyes on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. CT on CBS.
|Others receiving votes: Dayton 61, Boise State 53, Oregon 33, St. John's 27, BYU 21, Texas A&M 20, Davidson 18, Georgetown 13, Tulsa 7, San Diego St 7, Colorado St 7, LSU 6, Rhode Island 3, Virginia Commonwealth 3, Valparaiso 2, Stephen F. Austin 2|
|Dropped from rankings: Virginia Commonwealth 22, San Diego St 24|
USA Today Coaches Poll
|Others receiving votes: Georgetown 35, Dayton 25, San Diego St 22, Boise State 18, Oregon 14, Michigan St 13, St. John's 12, Texas A&M 11, Purdue 9, Davidson 9, Stephen F. Austin 7, Rhode Island 7, BYU 5, Virginia Commonwealth 5, LSU 5, Valparaiso 4, Colorado St 3, Kansas St 2, Texas 1, Ole Miss 1|
|Dropped from rankings:San Diego St 22, Virginia Commonwealth 24, Michigan St 25|
Since the calendar turned to March over the weekend, this weekly rankings recap is going to include a little dash of bracketology. Let's see where the experts are putting Wisconsin and then speculate wildly on how far the Badgers would go in each respective bracket.
- ESPN's Joe Lunardi has the Badgers as the No. 2 seed in the South Region playing William & Mary. Duke is the top seed in the South there.
- CBS Sports has Wisconsin as a No. 2 seed in the West region playing Albany in their opening game. Kentucky (eek!) is the top seed in the West there.
- Chris Dobbertean of SB Nation has UW as a No. 2 seed in the East region playing High Point in the first round. Virginia is the top seed in the East there.